eDiscovery Services in Greenville, SC

Ensure Your Side of the Story is Heard

In an increasingly digital world, information that is essential in the event of civil or criminal litigation is often located on computers, tablets, hosted server drives, or even cell phones.

Businesses simply aren’t using paper files or communications any longer — instead, they rely on emails, file folders, servers, and text messages to communicate and store important information.

If your business becomes involved in a civil or criminal court case, all of that digital documentation needs to be located, extracted, and analyzed for its potential relevance to the case.

If your business becomes involved in a civil or criminal court case, all of that digital documentation needs to be located, extracted, and analyzed for its potential relevance to the case.

That’s where eDiscovery comes in.

eDiscovery, or electronic discovery, is the collection and review of electronically stored information (or ESI), usually for civil litigation or legal purposes.

The legal rules and regulations surrounding electronic information have changed and evolved, with state and federal rules of civil procedure sometimes differing from one another. It’s important to utilize a qualified, experienced computer forensic examiner to determine whether digital information produced for litigation is authentic and complete.

Without eDiscovery and computer forensics, your side of the story may be lost in a mountain of irrelevant documents, and your costs could spiral while trying to sift documents for relevance.

At Legal Eagle, we provide computer forensics and eDiscovery services to our clients, in addition to other litigation support. Our services are designed to help law firms, businesses, and other organizations ensure that their side of the story is heard in a court of law.

To request more information on eDiscovery services, simply fill out the form to the right.

If you’re looking for answers to commonly asked questions about eDiscovery and computer forensics, or just wondering how they are used during litigation, check out the Table of Contents below to find the answers.

Learn more about eDiscovery with Legal Eagle today!

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1. What is eDiscovery?

eDiscovery is the process of identifying, collecting, analyzing, and producing electronically-sourced information, or ESI, in the event of litigation.

To put it simply, eDiscovery involves locating information that may be relevant during criminal or civil litigation proceedings, collecting and preserving it, and reviewing and analyzing to ensure all relevant data is made available for the parties involved as required by law.

eDiscovery review platforms like CloudNine, which Legal Eagle uses to support our clients, can help to consolidate this process and cut down on time and costs.

During litigation, every piece of data counts, and so does every minute. eDiscovery software can help you make the most of that time to ensure your data is reviewed efficiently. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions around eDiscovery, leading many organizations to be unprepared, scrambling to produce essential information when faced with litigation.

We’ve broken down these misconceptions to help your business or organization be more prepared. Just click the banner below to take a quick look.

eDiscovery campaign banner call-to-action

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2. Aren’t Computer Forensics and eDiscovery the Same Thing?

Computer forensics, also called digital forensics, can work alongside eDiscovery to help build your case during litigation.

In a world in which an internet connection has rapidly become a necessity for doing business, some or all of a company’s communications, record-keeping, and documentation are likely done through Word docs, email, text messages, and other methods of digital storage and information-sharing.

If you or your business end up involved in litigation, all of that electronically-sourced information, or ESI, could end up becoming a part of legal proceedings.

If that happens, you will need to be able to produce any and all relevant information, even if it’s stored in a file folder on a computer you haven’t used in three years. Otherwise, you could face punitive measures as a result of being unable to produce the data.

Digital forensics, or computer forensics, and eDiscovery are two methods of procuring the relevant data in the event of litigation.

Interested in more information on the difference between digital forensics and eDiscovery? Click the banner below to read up on how these litigation support services work together during civil and criminal litigation proceedings.

What's the difference between computer forensics and eDiscovery?

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3. What is the Electronic Discovery Reference Model, or EDRM?

The EDRM is considered the definitive guide to the recovery and discovery of electronically-stored information, or ESI.

Originally developed by Tom Gelbmann and George Socha in 2005, the Electronic Discovery Reference Model, or EDRM, is used as the standard for ethical and efficient discovery and recovery of digital data.

You can find a complete, detailed guide to utilizing the EDRM here on the Duke Law’s EDRM site. In effect, eDiscovery providers like Legal Eagle use the nine stages of the EDRM to ensure electronic data is handled in  cost-effective, ethical, and efficient manner.

Whether you already have an eDiscovery process in place, or you’re learning about eDiscovery for the first time, the nine stages of the EDRM can help you to see whether or not your current handling of electronic information will allow you to react quickly and produce relevant data in the event of litigation.

The nine stages of the EDRM include:

  1. Information Governance
  2. Identification
  3. Preservation
  4. Collection
  5. Processing
  6. Review
  7. Analyze
  8. Production
  9. Presentation

Keep reading to see a more in-depth look at each stage of the EDRM, or click the banner for a high-level look at the EDRM itself.

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4. EDRM, Stage One: Information Governance

Preventing eDiscovery Problems Before They Occur

Have you ever heard that the best way to solve a problem is by taking steps to prevent it from ever happening? That idea is at the root of the Information Governance stage of the EDRM.

Essentially, Information Governance involves ensuring your business or organization is prepared for eDiscovery before you ever need it. Many organizations only learn about internal weak spots when it comes to records retention and data preservation after they’ve already lost valuable information that cannot be recovered.

Even accidental deletion or damage to ESI and/or parent devices could lead to loss of evidence and consequences or punitive measures associated with the spoliation, or loss/destruction, of evidence.

The best way to ensure that your electronically-sourced information is protected against alteration or even destruction is by putting together a strategy for information governance. While we generally recommend partnering with a business that specializes in secure data management, there is one step you can take internally right away — implementing a records retention policy.

Learn more about how to build a records retention policy at your organization by clicking the banner below.

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5. EDRM, Stage Two: Identification

Identify sources of ESI and what part they may play within potential litigation.

The second stage of the EDRM is called Identification, and it largely amounts to putting together answers to a series of questions on where your electronically-sourced information is located, and how that information could become relevant to a potential case or investigation.

A few questions you might need to answer during the Identification stage include:

  • Which individuals could have relevant information stored on their business or personal devices?
  • Does the matter involve text messages sent or received via mobile phone?
  • How many of those messages are actually relevant to the investigation?
  • Are there photos located on a laptop or sent via email that are relevant to the investigation?
  • Over what length of time were these messages or photos sent between devices?
  • How strongly do these messages or photos support your side of the story?
  • Will utilizing these messages during mediation or trial presentation provide enough support to your case to be worth preparing their context or dealing with technical details when presenting before a judge or jury?
  • Is relevant information located on local servers and/or stored in the cloud?
  • What is the state of your corporate data storage?
  • Can you easily locate and produce electronic data if necessary?

With these answers in-hand, you’ll be able to develop a stronger eDiscovery strategy, and your eDiscovery specialist will be better able to work quickly and efficiently.

Click the banner below for more information on the EDRM’s Identification stage.

Identification links

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6. EDRM, Stage Three: Preservation

The Preservation stage of the EDRM is the best way to ensure you will not face any potential problems with deletion or data loss down the road.

One unfortunate problem with modern-day life is that electronic information is all too often treated as disposable or unimportant, when a digitally-connected world makes it more essential to preserve electronic information than ever.

Purposeful or accidental deletion, or even physical damage to the device ESI is located on, could make it difficult or even impossible to recover important documentation and evidence in the event of litigation.

Careful, purposeful preservation of all electronically-sourced information, no matter where it is physically located, is an essential duty for any organization when litigation is reasonably anticipated.

The EDRM’s Preservation stage is all about making a plan for careful preservation of electronic evidence. Whether that looks like internal storage, secure data archiving offsite, or partnering with a business that specializes in data/document archiving, prompt preparation now can make all the difference in the event of litigation.

Learn more about how data document archiving can help you preserve electronically-sourced information securely and cost-effectively by clicking the banner below.

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7. EDRM, Stage Four: Collection

The Collection stage of the EDRM involves gathering together your ESI for further review and contextual analysis.

The fourth stage of EDRM, Collection is exactly what it sounds like – collecting all the electronically-stored information that has been located and preserved for a more in-depth review.

Once your data has been identified and securely preserved, it needs to be collected quickly, efficiently, and in a legally defensible manner. In most cases, this includes not only the content of data but also its metadata.

According to the EDRM, keys to successful collection of electronically-sourced information include:

  • Establish a steering committee to lead the project.
  • Develop a strategy.
  • Determine a collection method and execute the plan.
  • Document the process and results.
  • Emphasize quality control & validate all data.

Proper collection and organization of data is important, and no data is more often overlooked than metadata. Often referred to as “data about data”, metadata is information not always directly visible, such as date created, date modified, original file path, and more.

To understand why the collection of metadata is just as important as every standard piece of electronic information, click the banner below.

What is metadata and why is it important?

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8. EDRM, Stage Five: Process

What information does your ESI contain, and is it relevant?

When processing ESI, your eDiscovery service provider will likely ask you a question that seems simple, but could have a very complex answer: “What exactly does your electronically-sourced information contain, and is it relevant to this specific potential litigation?”

In an organization that has effectively practiced responsible information governance, has a clear records retention policy in place, and has acted to organize the collection of ESI, you likely already know the answer.

The Process stage is focused heavily on discernment. You’ll want to record item-level metadata as it existed prior to processing, segment the information necessary for review, and cull and filter irrelevant data using data reduction best practices.

There are risks involved in taking this task on yourself, including culling or filtering data that turns out to be relevant later on. We recommend working with an experienced eDiscovery provider who can help you to discern which information needs o be processed and which information is unnecessary or needlessly duplicated.

While processing ESI can involve significant investment in both time and financial resources, there are ways to reduce eDiscovery costs. You can see a few recommendations on ways to reduce the cost of eDiscovery by clicking the banner below.

There are risks involved in taking this task on yourself, including culling or filtering data that turns out to be relevant later on. We recommend working with an experienced eDiscovery provider who can help you to discern which information needs to be processed and which information is unnecessary or needlessly duplicated.

While processing ESI can involve significant investment in both time and financial resources, there are ways to reduce eDiscovery costs. You can see a few recommendations on ways to reduce the cost of eDiscovery by clicking the banner.

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9. EDRM, Stage Six: Review

What information is relevant, and which information may be privileged?

For many organizations, such as law firms, corporations, or even government departments, certain documents are considered “privileged”, and therefore may be safely withheld during litigation.

The Review stage of the EDRM is the perfect time for your organization and legal team to work together to understand the exact facts of your specific case, develop a review strategy moving forward, and map out which information falls under a “privileged” category and which does not.

During the Review phase, the following steps will take place:

  • Your organization and associated legal team will come to an understanding as to the scope of the review
  • Supervision will ensure best practices are followed
  • Your team will develop procedures to guide reviewers
  • You’ll need to choose the appropriate eDiscovery platform or eDiscovery service provider for review

Following these steps will help all privileged information to be correctly identified and secured, as well as giving everyone involved a better understanding of which relevant data needs further review.

We understand your need to protect privileged information in the event of litigation, which is why our eDiscovery services are designed to carefully process and review each piece of information to ensure no privileged information is disclosed.

Learn more about our eDiscovery services just by clicking the banner below to request a consultation.

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10. EDRM, Stage Seven: Analysis

Make Informed eDiscovery Decisions Using Reliable Data

The average business produces an enormous amount of ESI in the course of their day. It’s understandable for any organization, especially small businesses, to feel overwhelmed by the idea of trying to recover all relevant information.

The key to successfully analyzing electronically-sourced information is knowing with certainty that the data you are analyzing is the most reliable, and relevant, information available.

This is where a reputable, experienced eDiscovery services provider utilizing quality eDiscovery software comes in.

We have found our partner company, CloudNine, to be an invaluable partner in helping our clients prepare for litigation. To learn more about CloudNine, keep reading down the page. For a closer look at the Analysis stage of the EDRM, click the banner below.

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11. EDRM, Stage Eight: Production

Increase efficiency and cut costs by utilizing the most appropriate format.

The Production stage of the EDRM involves some of the most common inconsistencies in our industry.

  • Is image format always required, or can other formats be used to reduce time and financial costs?
  • Is a meet and confer session worthwhile, or can it be safely skipped?

Individuals or businesses often utilize different methods of data preservation, and this can be problematic when you enter the Production stage of the EDRM. While much of your ESI may be located in its original, or native, format, you may have other documents (such as emails) that have been printed onto physical paper, then scanned back in to your computer as a PDF.

Historically, attorneys have relied heavily on physical paper copies or these Adobe PDF files for production, but this isn’t always necessary. Native or near-native production (IE, producing the information in its original format, or in one that is reasonably usable by the courts) can be far more efficient, and less costly, than traditional image format production.

Simply put, the reality of changing technology has provided new challenges for attorneys and other organizations when it comes to data production. Courts have responded with decisions that suggest multiple file formats are acceptable and commonly used during litigation.

Click the banner below to take a close look at what these rulings on production format mean when it comes time for litigation, and see why your organization and legal team should never miss an opportunity to meet and confer with the other parties involved, by clicking the banner below.

Learn why "meet and confer" is essential

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12. EDRM, Stage Nine: Presentation

Effective trial presentation could make all the difference for your case.

We’ve all heard of times when the production of certain electronic information, such as key emails or text messages, have led to breathtaking turns in the trajectory of a case. What we hear about less often is something that actually occurs more commonly — mishandling of electronic information harming an organization’s ability to defend themselves and ensure their side of the story is heard.

The EDRM’s guidelines on trial presentation are considered more helpful and informative than set in stone, as every criminal or civil case will be unique and present its own challenges when it comes to presenting your case before the courts.

The EDRM’s trial presentation guidelines include the following recommendations:

  • Develop a trial presentation strategy focused on proof of credibility
  • Visit the courtroom you will be presenting in beforehand, if at all possible, to get a closer look at the organization of the courtroom and what types of electronic equipment they have on hand
  • Prepare and test exhibits before trial
  • Present exhibits utilizing your own equipment (or equipment shared with the other party’s counsel)  if needed
  • Have a plan for storing and maintaining these exhibits after the initial trial concludes, in case they are needed again

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13. Is eDiscovery Really That Important for Litigation?

Not only is it essential to meet legal data production requirements, eDiscovery can help you connect with the judge or jury.

The truth is, modern life is very visually-oriented. Research has shown that about 65% of people are “visual learners”, which means that about two-thirds of any given jury pool will respond more favorably to a visual trial presentation strategy than one that relies heavily on text or speech.

With an experienced eDiscovery provider who helps your legal team with trial presentation, you can not only have the relevant data available to bolster your case, but also present that information in a visually engaging format that helps the jury to understand exactly what you’re trying to say.

Find out more information on how eDiscovery can help you build a stronger case and tell your story to a judge or jury by clicking the banner below.

Find out how to close the gap between lawyer and jury

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14. Where Can I Find eDiscovery Services in South Carolina?

Headquartered in Greenville, SC, Legal Eagle provides eDiscovery and other litigation support services throughout South Carolina.

When we originally started providing litigation support services at Legal Eagle, we were focused on solving problems and helping organizations in and around Greenville, SC reduce time investment and financial cost when it came to eDiscovery, computer forensics, and more.

As we’ve grown, we’ve expanded not only which litigation support services we offer, but we’re also able to help our clients in many different locations throughout South Carolina and Western North Carolina.

If you’re searching for help with eDiscovery or computer forensics in South Carolina, you need court reporters, you need assistance with an upcoming deposition, or for any of our other litigation support services, just let us know how we can help!

You can reach us by phone at (800) 313-5133 or click the banner below.

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